There is more to the modeling world than the media lets on. If you want to find out what it really takes and how to manage your modeling career, then you've come to the right place! This blog is dedicated to the aspiring and already established models who live to defy the standards and stereotypes in order to make a place for themselves in this crazy industry.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Why "Conservative" and "Modeling" Don't Go Together

(This post is not specifically addressed to any reader in particular but is a basic response to the topic overall.)

From time to time I get comments from readers, stating their concerns that certain modeling pictures can be seen as "slutty" or may give the model a "bad rep", among others. Such comments really irk me because these kinds of statements can negatively influence an aspiring model, which could result in having him/her decide to not pursue the a modeling career--not to mention that oftentimes such statements come from people who themselves are not actually in the business. The stance I take on such matters is from a business standpoint, which is the tone I'm going to take while writing this particular post.

I must say that not all modeling requires being sexy or wearing next to nothing. There are different fields of modeling to choose from and your height, look and stats will be the main determining factors as to which one you'll be the most successful in. If you are an aspiring model that is worried about being forced to get naked or next to naked, please take the following facts into account:

- You will never be forced to do anything, especially if you have an agency representing you. Freelance models will have to be more cautious but again, if you do your homework and can avoid shady operations, you shouldn't find yourself in a situation where you would be forced to do anything you don't want to.

- If you are under 18 years of age (in the United States), you will not have to get naked or deal with implied nudity--that is illegal. Underage models are required to have a parent/guardian present at all castings, shoots, interviews, etc. so this should not be an issue.

- Models that are of age do not have to do anything involved with nudity as long as you state that up front, either with your agent or to your clients (if you are freelance). Agencies and casting companies will ask you what types of work you are comfortable with doing. So if you state that you won't do nudity or anything very sexual in nature, you won't be booked for that type of work.

As far as doing certain modeling images that may be considered "slutty", those viewpoints are entirely subjective and should not be used to unfairly judge a model that is simply doing their job--not to mention the fact that it was their decision.

My take on this is if you are conservative and don't like seeing those types of modeling images, then don't look and don't judge the professionals that pursue modeling as a career and are successful at it--mind you, I am not referring to glamour modeling, which oftentimes requires partial, implied or full nudity. I'm talking about high fashion and editorial shoots that sometimes amp up the sex appeal level in their images.

Aspiring models that have conservative backgrounds or family members/parents that are super conservative will have more of a challenge in establishing a professional modeling career in the high fashion, runway and editorial fields. If the opinions of your family are going to bother you to the point of dictating how you pursue modeling, then perhaps you should opt for the safer route of commercial/print or not take on modeling altogether. It's your choice and unless you are underage, it is your sole, adult decision to do certain types of modeling work that may involve being a bit more sexual or risque.

As far as doing intimate couple shoots, it will be up to you to decide whether your relationship status will interfere with this type of work. Obviously, single models won't have a problem but if you have a boyfriend, fiancee or husband (or vice-versa for male models), then the nature of such shoots could be a sticky situation for you, unless your significant other is completely comfortable with it.

Committed models (male or female) should definitely be prepared to have conversations with their significant others prior to doing couple shoots in order to make sure the lines of communication are clear. Is your significant other super jealous? Then you'll probably want to keep the couple images you do out of their line of vision--unless you appear in a huge billboard ad or magazine advertisement. That's a whole different story.

Overall, be true to yourself. If you don't happen to have the support of your significant other and/or family--which is very unfortunate--you'll really have to sit down and reflect on whether you'd rather walk away from a potentially rewarding modeling career in order to avoid making waves or if you have no problem jumping in, giving it a shot and not caring about anyone's opinion.

To family and friends of models/aspiring models in the fashion, runway, editorial fields: the young ladies and men that do these types of modeling are professionals participating in an industry that is tough, cold, critical, competitive and promises no guarantees. That is a lot of pressure to subject yourself to willingly.

No one says you have to agree with their choice to be a model and take part in what you may see as "questionable" or downright "inappropriate" photoshoots. But showing some form of support and not adding to their worries or frustrations will help them go a long way, even if they find that modeling is not a good fit for them. Unless they are underage, respect their decision as an adult.

Posing with a male model in a CK ad doesn't make a female model a slut, nor does it mean that she will fall in love with that person or some other model they work with and fall into a life of debauchery. Keep the lines of communication open and if the images your son/daughter, sister/brother, cousin, granddaughter/grandson appears in bothers you that much, then politely let them know that you only wish to see the more family friendly photos.

Models, if you know your family is very conservative, do what you can to minimize their exposure to any images that you feel they'd be offended by but don't bend over backwards to do it. It isn't impossible for them to avoid or ignore the pictures they don't want to see.

It can be difficult to understand the demands and nature of the modeling industry if you are not a part of it, which sometimes makes it easy for critics and those on the outside looking in to pretty much say and judge as they please. But that isn't fair to the many models that work hard to establish themselves.

Actors and actresses do sex/love scenes all the time but at the end of the day they come home to their families, significant others and even their children with no problems. The same can be said for models. Each role requires the model to play a part but when the camera is off and all is said and done, it's back to regular, everyday life.


Anonymous said...

If your family and friends are strict, don't ever show them photos that they suspect are slutty, even when they're not and don't ever post them on Facebook or MySpace, either, especially if you're posing with another model of the opposite gender. But, if they're supportive or have jobs related to the modeling/fashion/beauty industry, you're okay. At least they can understand you better.

Anonymous said...

Also, for models with second jobs outside the entertainment/arts industry such as engineering, law, retail, or medicine, for example, certain bosses or supervisors might threaten to fire you from your job if they come across photos they think are suggestive (even when they are not) so be careful with what photos you do and who you work with or you'll risk losing your second job.

There's a cousin of mine in the Philippines who's a fashion model and nurse at the same time and she hardly does any swimwear or lingerie stuff because if her boss comes across those photos, whether they be on print or web, she'd be fired from her job and she and her family are very conservative. Imagine if your boss or supervisor saw you modeling with lingerie, swimwear, or with more one, two, or more male (or female) models, it would be a complete disaster! Even male models could be fired from non modeling or non entertainment jobs for photos like these too.

I think you should write an article about modeling photos and how they affect second jobs that are unrelated to the modeling field and looking for one that's not related as well. I read it in an issue of Reader's Digest about how bosses could spy on you, especially if you post photos on the web.